An NHTSA Ford Escape probe has been opened into reports of unintended acceleration. A number of crashes and at least one death have resulted from the trend.
Worst issue for car makers
There is no worse bogeyman in the automotive industry than unintended acceleration, though fire ranks up there. Toyota can vouch for that. The latest car producer to be accused of making cars that have a defect resulting in unintended acceleration is Ford. The model in question is the Ford Escape crossover, specifically those from 2002 to 2004.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is now going to be looking into the 2001 to 2004 Ford Escapes also as the Mazda Tribute crossovers, which have V-6 engines in them as a Mazda-badged Escape. USA Today announced that the NHTSA was starting the investigation after a ton of pressure to look into the issue. The Center for Automotive Safety really pressured the NHTSA into the investigation with a big petition.
Cruise control cable defect
The issue, according to USA Today, is a broken cruise control cable. The damage comes from a 2004 recall of the Escape. That recall, according to AutoGuide, was due to accelerator cables that could snag on the accelerator pedal, causing unintended acceleration. If the cruise control cable is broken during the repair, the cruise control cable could loosen, causing it to possibly snag on a ridge on the top of the plastic engine cover. If that happens, the snagged cable can stick the throttle in the open position, causing the car to accelerate.
There are certainly some automobiles on the road with damaged cables despite the technical service bulletin published by Ford to alert technician so the issue, according to ABC15. This is because there were repairs performed before the bulletin was released to the technicians.
More than 700,000 vehicles in probe
There have been 13 crashes and 1 death associated with the unintended acceleration so far. The girl who perished was a 17-year old girl named Bloom who was in a fatal wreck when her 2002 Ford Escape accelerated from her, according to ABC15. The cruise control cable was snagged on the motor cover in her Escape that got the car repaired in the recall before the bulletin was publicized. There have also been 99 reports of unintended acceleration, according to USA Today.
The NHTSA Ford Escape investigation could possibly impact 730,000 Ford Escape crossovers of the 2001 through 2004 model years, along a further 7,261 Mazda Tribute crossovers.
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